The environmental factors that contribute to the risk of heat-related illness


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  • The environmental factors that contribute to the risk of heat-related illness;

  • General awareness of personal factors that may increase susceptibility to heat-related illness including, but not limited to, an individual’s age, degree of acclimatization, medical conditions, drinking water consumption, alcohol use, caffeine use, nicotine use, and use of medications that affect the body’s responses to heat. This information is for the employee’s personal use;



  • The importance of removing heat-retaining personal protective equipment such as non-breathable chemical resistant clothing during all breaks;

  • The importance of frequent consumption of small quantities of drinking water or other acceptable beverages;

  • e) The importance of acclimatization;



  • f) The different types of heat-related illness and the common signs and symptoms of heat-related illness; and

  • g) The importance of immediately reporting signs or symptoms of heat-related illness in either themselves or in co-workers to the person in charge and the procedures the employee must follow including appropriate emergency response procedures.



Cola drinks are the best way to hydrate when you are working outside.

  • Cola drinks are the best way to hydrate when you are working outside.

  • Light colored clothing is better than dark when working in the sun.

  • Your medicine may make you more vulnerable to heat-related illness.

  • It is important to drink your water all at once.





Heat-related illness:

  • Heat-related illness:

  • Happens when the body is not able to cool itself and the body overheats

  • Can cause injury, disability or death

  • Is preventable



Heat illness can affect anyone.

  • Heat illness can affect anyone.

  • It can happen in logging, construction projects, landscaping, agriculture, field work, transportation, etc.



  • Environmental factors that contribute to the risk of heat-related illness





Hot equipment

  • Hot equipment

  • Engines add more heat

  • Heat reflected from ground or objects

  • Watch out for reflected heat











  • Personal factors that may make you more susceptible to heat-related illness



  • Dehydration

    • Failure to drink enough water can make you dehydrated
  • Loss of electrolytes

  • Illness/fever



Age, weight, and personal fitness

  • Age, weight, and personal fitness

  • Past heat-related illness

  • Medical conditions

    • Heart conditions
    • Diabetes
    • Etc.
  • Certain medications

    • See next slide


  • Allergy medicines (antihistamines)

  • Cough and cold medicines

  • Blood pressure and heart medicines

  • Irritable bladder or bowel medicines

  • Laxatives

  • Mental health medicines

  • Seizure medicines

  • Thyroid pills

  • Water pills (diuretics)

    • A health care provider or pharmacist can tell you for sure.






Have a “Buddy System” to keep an eye on co-workers for symptoms of heat illness such as crankiness and denial

  • Have a “Buddy System” to keep an eye on co-workers for symptoms of heat illness such as crankiness and denial

  • Increase breaks if:

    • Conditions are very hot; or
    • High exertion levels; or
    • Protective clothing limits evaporative cooling
  • Alternate heavy work with light work when possible



  • Wear proper clothing

    • Light colored
    • Light weight
    • Natural fibers
    • Hat with a brim
    • Cooling vest may be helpful in some cases.




Water

  • Water

  • It is important to drink small quantities of water throughout the day.

  • One quart or more over the course of an hour may be necessary when the work environment is hot and you may be sweating more than usual as you work.

  • Employers are responsible for encouraging water consumption.

  • Employees are responsible for monitoring their own personal factors for heat-related illness including consumption of water or other acceptable beverages to ensure hydration.



  • DO

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Start work well hydrated

  • Consider sports drinks for electrolyte replacement when sweating a lot

  • AVOID

  • Drinking pop and other sugary drinks

  • Drinking lots of coffee and tea

  • Drinking alcohol

  • Waiting for thirst before drinking water



Closeable & have tap

  • Closeable & have tap

  • Clearly marked

  • Suitably cool (60 degrees Fahrenheit or less)

  • Individual cups



  • When people are not used to being in the heat they need to adjust (acclimate) to hot working conditions over a few days.

  • In severe heat, gradually build up exposure time especially if work is strenuous.

  • Eastern WA workers experience more heat and are better acclimated.

  • Western WA workers experience heat less often and do not have the opportunity to acclimate.



There are five main kinds of heat illness:

  • There are five main kinds of heat illness:

    • Heat rash – often under clothing
    • Heat cramps – in arms or legs with physical labor. Can be caused by the loss of electrolytes from sweating.
    • Fainting – can occur when person not used to heat
    • Heat exhaustion – more serious effect
    • Heat stroke – can be fatal
















Stop all activity if you become:



(Fill in your information below)

  • (Fill in your information below)



Drink water frequently !!

  • Drink water frequently !!

  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat related illnesses and take them seriously

  • Consider sports drinks when sweating a lot

  • Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and heavy meals before or during work

  • Work smart

  • Acclimate

  • Wear appropriate clothing

  • Take regular breaks

  • Keep an eye on your buddy!



  • Washington State Department of Labor and Industries – Outdoor heat exposure resources

  • http://www.lni.wa.gov/safety/topics/atoz/heatstress/default.asp

  • Washington State Department of Labor and Industries – Video Library

  • http://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/TrainTools/Videos/Library/

  • Heat Stress: Don't Lose Your Cool - Video ID: V0931

  • Working Safely in Hot Environments - Video ID: V0955

  • Heat Stress Prevention - Video ID: V0092

  • Heat Stress - Video ID: V0358









Table 1

  • Table 1

  • To determine which temperature applies to each worksite, select the temperature associated with the general type of clothing or personal protective equipment (PPE) each employee is required to wear.

  • Note: There is no requirement to maintain temperature records. The temperatures in Table 1 were developed based on Washington State data and are not applicable to other states.






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